More about Our Fountains and Aerators
WHY AERATION IS NEEDED
Pond Aeration Fights Stratification (Layering) of Ponds
Pond aeration is needed for fish health. If fish don’t get enough oxygen, they will die. But even if you don’t have fish, without aeration, ponds create stratified layers in the water, and the bottom layer is depleted of oxygen. Also, the pond surface can become quite stagnant and full of muck.
Fish Kill image above and stagnation image below provided by Kasco
In addition, ponds can become shallower over time from a buildup of muck caused by a lack of oxygen. Plant materials need oxygen to steadily decompose and if new plant life grows at a rate faster than old plants decompose (due to a lack of oxygen), muck accumulates at the bottom of the pond. In addition, this muck sends up gas bubbles which can create a very foul smell like rotten eggs.
WAYS TO AERATE
Surface Aeration for Ponds
type of aeration is surface aeration. Surface aeration is also the pretty kind, that is, it is the use of fountains for ponds and lakes. Typically, the pump is attached to a float so that the nozzle rises and lowers with the water level. The pump agitates the water below, decreasing stratification. In addition, water is forced into the air so that the pond’s water is always being recirculated.
very deep ponds (over 8’), bottom aeration is recommended. Typically, an air compressor is located at the shore and a hose carries the air to a diffuser unit at the bottom of the pond. It is very similar to the air bubbles rising from the bottom of an aquarium. Currently, there are many fairly quiet air compressors available for sale. They need to be housed to protect from the elements, thus quieting them more.
Combining the Two Kinds of Aeration
If you have a deep pond but still want to see a fountain, you can combine the two types of aerators. The fountain would not need to aerate as much and could focus on beauty. This focus allows for a greater range of price as well as dramatic viewpoint.
About Solar Aeration
We get many calls about solar aeration. The goal is to eliminate the necessity of cords going to an electrical junction. While we are entirely sympathetic, these units are typically quite expensive, so don’t be alarmed by an approximately $8,000 price tag for a 1/2HP unit.
Wind units are pretty to look at, but installation time is lengthy, and you need to find the best point to install right off the bat, as moving windmills takes too much time. In addition, these do not turn when there is no wind, and when there is no wind rippling across the pond surface aeration is most necessary, especially during the summer.
Things to Watch for When Buying a Discount Floating Pond Fountain
Through the years we at Fountain Mountain, Inc. have watched as companies make claims to all kinds of miraculously cheap fountains with impossible-to-believe horsepower ratings. Here are some things to ask yourself before buying a cheap pond fountain:
Is the pump UL- or ETL- approved? Or is this fountain pump only approved for use outside the U.S.? If lights with transformers are offered, is the transformer UL-approved?
How difficult is the warranty process? If you must ship back to the manufacturer, is the manufacturer in the U.S., or do you have to ship to another country?
If LED lights are using a controller to program lights, is the housing approved for outdoor use or must it be stored inside a home or barn?
How did the company calculate horsepower? We have seen claims of up to one-half horsepower for a pump that uses only 300 watts of electricity. How is that possible? On what planet does that occur?
How about the size of the nozzle? We have seen pumps advertised with 10,000 gallons per hour flow using nozzles that are only 1 1/2" wide in size. These nozzles have holes in them, of course, to create a pattern (the fountain shape). We estimate that in some cases the nozzles are restricting the flow of these pond fountain pumps to about 1,500 gallons per hour. For bigger pumps, bigger nozzles ought to be used.
We have also noticed a fair amount of photo-manipulation in pictures of fountains. Sometimes this is understandable. Night photography of lights can be deceptive because of the ways cameras “see” the images at night. But many fountain pics have been greatly manipulated. Try to find sites that give actual non-doctored photos of fountains in action. We are a proud distributor of Kasco Fountains and have a discount line of Fountain Tech fountains for a full range of prices and sizes.